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Hi,
I'm new to this forum and have a specific question I'd like some help with please.
I run an historical fencing school in London and associated Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/scholagladiatoria - My primary area of research and knowledge is late-medieval and Victorian swords and swordsmanship, however in recent months I have been going back to some of my earlier interests and trying to expand my knowledge on the arms and armour of earlier periods (I was an archaeologist formerly and have dug Roman, migration era and early-medieval sites). I have also been using my knowledge of 15th and 16th century fighting treatises to try and look at earlier combat system reconstructions, primarily sword and shield and spear and shield (which are covered to a small extent in renaissance treatises such as Achille Marozzo 1536). I have also acquired a sharp Mainz gladius blade from Paul Binns, which I will be getting hilted by my friend Fabrice Cognot, in order to do some test cutting and thrusting alongside other sword types.
Now to the purpose of this thread - for later periods of swords there are published works which provide a good overview of swords of certain periods. What books, journals or websites would you recommend reading for me to get a decent overview of Roman sword development? I know some basics already, but for example I do not know when the Mainz, Fulham or Pompei type gladius started and stopped being used, which hilt types were most common with which blades, how hilt types evolved in different areas over time, or when the spatha became the predominant sword rather than just the cavalry sword in the Roman army. What do I need to read?

Many thanks in advance for your guidance.
Matt
www.fioredeiliberi.org
well if we speak about swords you will have to be able to read german the best one would be:
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Fht7...CCQQ6AEwAQ
is 900+pages and 2 volumes

then I would suggest to take this one as well
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=EB4Q...CCMQ6AEwAA

Mike (not Michael or Mickey or whatever) is also member of this forum and I think he is more than pleased to answer some questions
Great, many thanks for the reply. I have ordered the second book straight away. I'm afraid that my German is almost non-existant!
matt I would still recommend that book
it has a lot of pictures and when I say a lot is a LOOOOT this helps as well to understand a lot of features of the swords
Okay great, thanks!
Out of interest, when did gladius stop being used in the West and what did the last types look like? Are there any good online resources?
Another great book, I think it's a very useful book about the development of Roman swords and other military equipment. Not su much pictures, but there are some, and drawings of both Roman swords and swords of other cultures who influenced the development of the Roman swords.
http://www.amazon.com/Rome-Sword-Warrior...0500251827
Quote:Out of interest, when did gladius stop being used in the West and what did the last types look like? Are there any good online resources?

I think the last gladii that would be instantly recognized as gladii by an average viewer are the various variants of Pompei gladius. After that, in the 2nd century various types of spathae become more popular, although some swords were still short (one might say these are the famous semi-spathae), like for example ring pommeled short swords probably copied from Iazygian and Sarmatian swords... And many "spathae" of the 2nd and 3rd centuries are not that much longer than an average gladius anyway...
Quote:Another great book, I think it's a very useful book about the development of Roman swords and other military equipment. Not su much pictures, but there are some, and drawings of both Roman swords and swords of other cultures who influenced the development of the Roman swords.
http://www.amazon.com/Rome-Sword-Warrior...0500251827

Thanks Luka, I've ordered that as well now.
There are a number of skilled swordsmiths who reproduce Roman and other Ancient period swords on this site, who may care to add their opinions.

If anything, the gulf between good-quality reproduction swords, regarding distal taper etc., and the poorer end is even wider for Roman swords than is found in reproduction swords of other periods.
Hi Matt

I recommend Matt's Youtube channel Scholagladitoria for those who do not know him.

Try this on google

F. Quesada Sanz"Gladius hispaniensis"

Good illustrated flowchart.

It puts forward a potential developement from "Celtic" Iberian types to the gladius used by Ceasar's troops on his tour of Gaul! And i belive he is a member on here too F Quesada that is Wink
Many thanks Conal!